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Exchange Security

Posted on 2006-06-13
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Last Modified: 2010-03-19
Hi,

I'm planning an Exchange server installation within the next few weeks. We don't have an DMZ or FE/BE for Exchange and I'm concerned about allowing SSL and SMTP traffic straight into our LAN. We have a PIX as our perimeter firewall here lies my question: Is a PIX (SMTP, SSL open) alone secure enough or should I put ISA somewhere in the mix? I've read some articles suggestoing SSL through PIX is a vulnerability as PIX cannot read encrypted traffic. Anyone have any comments on this?

Ciderspine.
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Question by:Ciderspine
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Expert Comment

by:rafael_acc
ID: 16893246
PIXs are usually good enough. But do not forget that to secure it it is not enough to have but to properly configure it. The same idea applies to the ISA box. For instance, you can have 3 Pixes, 1 ISA, ... but as long as they are not configured correctly ... see the idea??

Good knowledge on tcp/ip would allow you to set this up properly, even with a single PIX only.

Cheers
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Expert Comment

by:Hyppy
ID: 16893260
Your PIX should be secure enough, as long as you specify only your exchange server in the ACL for SMTP/SSL access.
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Expert Comment

by:hstiles
ID: 16893405
SSL through to OWA on your Exchange Server is OK.  Plenty of companies operate without a FE/BE configuration.

However, I would strongly advise setting up a mail relay in a DMZ as this provides a physical barrier between your mail server and the outside world.
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by:Leon Fester
ID: 16893435
'I've read some articles suggestoing SSL through PIX is a vulnerability as PIX cannot read encrypted traffic. Anyone have any comments on this?'

I think what you possibly read could have been something along the lines of ISA 2004 being able to do stateful packet inspection on encrypted data.

Check out this link for some more info on ISA and Exchange.
http://www.microsoft.com/isaserver/evaluation/overview/default.mspx
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Author Comment

by:Ciderspine
ID: 16894076
Thanks for you comments - I suspected the PIX was secure enough.

I have a relay planned for SMTP. I take it if I wanted to relay SSL traffic to OWA I would have to run a FE xchange?

Ben
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 16894328
And the points are for me and ... ? :)

Cheers
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Author Comment

by:Ciderspine
ID: 16900461
Whoever answers this question gets the points.


I take it if I wanted to relay SSL traffic to OWA I would have to run a FE xchange?

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Accepted Solution

by:
Leon Fester earned 250 total points
ID: 16900475
Not neccessarily OWA works independantly of whether your server is a FE or BE Server.

Ideally you'd wanna setup as a backend server...
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Author Comment

by:Ciderspine
ID: 16902099
Thanks chaps!
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by:rafael_acc
ID: 16903802
Your question: "here lies my question: Is a PIX (SMTP, SSL open) alone secure enough or should I put ISA somewhere in the mix? I've read some articles suggestoing SSL through PIX is a vulnerability as PIX cannot read encrypted traffic. Anyone have any comments on this?"

My answer:
"PIXs are usually good enough. But do not forget that to secure it it is not enough to have but to properly configure it. The same idea applies to the ISA box. For instance, you can have 3 Pixes, 1 ISA, ... but as long as they are not configured correctly ... see the idea??

Good knowledge on tcp/ip would allow you to set this up properly, even with a single PIX only. "

This same answer was in "tune" with other users's answers as well ... I think there should've been a split. Also, I just cannot see where is dvt_localboy's answer better than mine. Could you please show me that??

Anyway ... I guess the moderator will decide ... they shold be saying something soon ....

Cheers
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Author Comment

by:Ciderspine
ID: 16905110
His answer was not 'better than yours' it was simply a more appropriate answer in my opinion.

Ciderspine. (because it's always summer in my world)
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Expert Comment

by:rafael_acc
ID: 16906022
Just to clarify though ... I never meant that dvt_localboy didnt' deserve any points. He/she just didn't deserve all of them. As I stated already, there should have been a split. More clear than that I can't be!

Cheers
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Author Comment

by:Ciderspine
ID: 16906853
You don't like beans - Jelly beans?

I agree - I should have split the points. My mistake. Is there a way I can give you some points - I'm happy to do so? EE is such a fantastic resource and I think all of you experts who selflessly give your hard-earned knowledge and time to help others in the IT community deserve medals and I thank you all.

Really - you don't like jelly beans? I thought eveyone liked Jelly Beans?

Cheers matey! No hard feelings. Let's keep EE a place of knowlege and love.

Ciderspine
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